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Subject: Tracks 1-10 are wrong
Due to a missing Track #1 (Bertha), until you hit the Weather Report Suite, these are all off by one track.
Subject: You Had To Be There!
I attended this show, and over 100 more after it. My recollections: The hall was cavernous and totally dark when we arrived. Some seven or eight of us were seated on stage left, about halfway up and halfway back. The music had already started, but all we could hear was swirling noise. Garcia had shaved his beard, cut his hair, and lost about fifty pounds, and that fact, combined with not being able to hear, meant we did not even know if it was actually the Dead onstage. The people seated next to us thought we were watching Quicksilver, who did not play that night. Anyway, the sound gradually improved, and by the cowboy tunes, was excellent, but by the time 'Row Jimmy'was playing, it became staggering, otherworldly, and totally liquid. Seastones played between sets, arching up the effects and quality even more. During the break, I heard something like incredibly beautiful birds twittering in the rafters, and as the lights came up for the second set, I realized it was Garcia playing solo facing his amps. Amazing. I had never heard 'Scarlet' before that night, but I can tell you this, halfway through it I got 'shown the light' in one of the 'strangest of places.' Before or since, I've NEVER witnessed a performance or sound system like that. The Wall of Sound was flat-out the finest use of electricity I've ever witnessed. In fact, I've been attempting to replicate that moment for decades. I get close sometimes with my own system now, but that night made me a Deadhead 4 ever. I am so Grateful to be able to listen back to the shows I attended. How lucky can you be? My appraisal of the show as it stacks up to others; 3 stars. In my personal hit parade? 5 stars+. If I can ever get my time machine working, you will know where to find me.
Subject: Weirdness in Chicago
I was there at the Internaitonal Amphitheater in 1974 for this one. It goes down as an enjoyable but one of the stranger shows I saw the Dead do in nearly 20 years of attending their concerts.
Dark Star (no words) was the 2nd set jam (in a year when they weren't doing that often, if at all), Phil Lesh actually sat down while playing during much of the set, and the encore was not your typical rollicking Johnny B Good or US Blues, etc, but rather Ship of Fools. It was almost like they were in a downer mood.
Finally, the last couple songs of the show had somewhat of a patriotic theme: US Blues and Uncle John's Band. I've always wondered if these selections combined with the Ship of Fools encore were the Dead's message re: the Nixon administration which had less than two weeks to live.
Subject: Missing opener
This is a solid but little-known show, with one of the few Dark Stars played in '74. The recording is super-clean with good presence and nice separation. I didn't notice the hiss mentioned by the previous reviewer. The tunes are all played well but it doesn't stand out as a must-have show, that's pretty difficult in a year like 1974 when there are so many standout shows. The Dark Star>Slipknot! jam makes the show worthy of a download, and the other tunes demonstrate the level of consistency they had achieved at that point. Deadbase and deadlists (and my other copy of this gig) show that there is a Me & My Uncle opener but it is not available in this seed. Not sure if it is a mistake or if the tune was unavailable from this source (which would be surprising since it's the master reel). Anyhow, download Me & My Uncle from the other source and the rest of the show from this one! The sound is a solid 4 stars and the performance is a nice average 3 stars, no mistakes but in a year like 1974 it's pretty middle-of-the-road. I'd give it a 4 stars but the missing track makes it incomplete.
Solid show but a little hissy. Slipknot! jam is way cool.
Subject: International Ampitheatre: welcome back!
Wow I did not even know this show existed, but there it is in my DeadBase too.
I have had the '73 Chicago International Amp on tape for a while, and so was thrilled to find that on the archive, that show sounds just as awesome as ever (ok, even better!) So of course I wanted to check out the return to the venue... The first set is pretty solid, but nothing really jumps out as amazing as with the Fresno show the week before, and Roosevelt in August, for example. Clean sound, good song selection. I think the "Uncle" is missing from the 908mb lossless zip file, so be sure to grab it from above if you are after the whole show. The WRS suite is really good, and the A&A is a great rockin' set closer.
But let me cut to the chase, another '74 Dark Star! The boys start it up from a dead stop after Jack Straw, go figure. The Dark Star theme is gone after a few minutes, they jam around for 20 full-minutes, drifting off towards Pluto (but not past it), coming back in with some interesting drumming to pick up the pace. Very jazzy. Then the recently-debuted Slipknot! jam kicks in, sick! How cool to hear it in this context, it is mostly Jerry ripping on the Slipknot theme. They never do get around to singing any of the Dark Star verses, oh well.
I guess I'm gonna have to go with 3 stars on this one. Do check out the Dark Star (jam) into Slipknot! and a beautiful Stella Blue.